Breaking the Silence: Together for a #PeriodFriendlyWorld

Why our families should know about period poverty?

It’s Menstrual Hygiene Day today, providing a chance to highlight the importance of menstrual care and raise awareness about the issues faced by those who don’t have access to menstrual products.

Why do we have to pay for pads

Do you know what Period Poverty is?

Period Poverty is a global issue and occurs when financial constraints prevent access to menstrual products, often accompanied by stigma, a lack of education, inadequate hygiene resources, and waste management challenges. Period poverty leads to various hardships, including social, economic, and physiological difficulties such as depression, discrimination, shame, and stigma. Additionally, it can disrupt education, impacting the future of children and their families.
 
What is the state of period poverty in Australia?
 
YouGov survey commissioned by Plan International Australia surveyed more than 500 Australians aged between 18 and 42 who menstruate. Find about it here. 
 

Here is a script that you can use to adapt to suit all family members about what Period Poverty is:

“Hey, have you ever thought about how some people might struggle to afford the things they need every month? Well, period poverty is when someone doesn’t have enough money to buy things like pads or tampons when they get their period. It’s tough because having a period is a natural part of life, but not everyone can easily get what they need to manage it.
 
This can make it hard for them to go to school, work, or just feel comfortable.
So, it’s important to be aware of this and help out when we can, whether it’s donating products, supporting organisations, or just being understanding and kind to others.”
 
Let’s be grateful that we have access to period undies and pads hey! Do you have any questions?
 

What you can do about period poverty as a parent within your family:

Be brave and talk openly about your own experiences with periods with your family.

This normalises experiences and fosters openness and understanding.

Begin educating your preteen about menstruation early

This is to prepare them and promote understanding and empathy towards others who menstruate. Dads, your role in these conversations is important too.

Provide your preteen with access to menstrual products.

Keep pads, tampons, or period underwear and menstrual cups easily accessible at home. Put some pads in your bathroom and write a note saying please take them for family, friends and visitors. Make sure that there is a bin in the bathroom too.

Access to free products in schools.

In most states in Australia, the government and private organisations have started providing schools with free menstrual products. Make sure your child’s school has access to these products.

Advocate for change by supporting initiatives to address period poverty.

This includes supporting organisations, advocating for tax elimination on these products, and raising awareness in your community. Teach your preteen about the importance of advocating for themselves and for others. Encourage them to speak up.

Foster a supportive atmosphere.

where preteens and their friends can freely discuss menstruation. Encourage open dialogue and offer accurate information to guide their understanding and health.

Lead by example

Talk openly, wear recyclable period products yourself. Dads, can be role models by asking questions, being open and interested. Embrace reusable options like menstrual cups and underwear to reduce waste and promote sustainability.

Promote a culture where jokes or insults about menstruation

For example, asking if someone is angry because of their period, are not tolerated.

Final Words

The theme of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2024 is: Together for a #PeriodFriendlyWorld.

The stigma and taboos surrounding menstruation should be history. It is a world where everyone can access the products, period education and period-friendly infrastructure they need. With one message, we are louder. So let’s get louder within our families about periods. 

Book recommendations about puberty :

Pippin Girl Go With The Flow - Book review by Rowena Thomas | 'Amazing Me'

Pippin Girl: Go With The Flow

This book was written by several female authors. It aims to educate young women and those who support them about sex, dating, consent, and the menstrual cycle. This book answers all the questions many people don't want to ask about growing up as a girl and offers guidance for every stage!

Menstrupedia Comic - Book review by Rowena Thomas | 'Amazing Me'

Menstrupedia Comic

Menstrupedia Comic is a comic book about puberty created by Aditi Gupta and Tuhin Paul for girls aged 9 and up.

Ruby Luna's Moontime - Book review by Rowena Thomas | 'Amazing Me'

Ruby Luna's Moontime

Menstrupedia Comic is a comic book about puberty created by Aditi Gupta and Tuhin Paul for girls aged 9 and up.

Welcome to Your Period - Book review by Rowena Thomas | 'Amazing Me'

Welcome to Your Period

Authors Yumi Stynes and Melissa Kang change the narrative about periods by welcoming them with this upbeat guide that helps young girls deal with menstruation.

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Picture of Rowena

Rowena

The facilitator of ‘Amazing Me’, Rowena is a primary trained school teacher, with more than 30 years of experience in sexuality education and a mum of three adult children.

Rowena understands the many complexities and challenges at different stages in a child’s life when talking about tough topics like sex and puberty.

She is passionate about what she does with the goal that open and positive conversations will be started and continued, that puberty is ‘normalised’, relationships enriched and strengthened and as a result, wise choices are made in the future.